Play the Songs
- Colored Spade
- Manchester England
- I'm Black / Ain't Got No
- I Believe In Love
- Ain't Got No Grass
- I Got Life
- Going Down
- My Conviction
- Easy to Be Hard
- Don't Put It Down
- Frank Mills
- Hare Krishna
- Where Do I Go?
- Electric Blues
- Walking In Space
- What a Piece of Work Is Man
- Good Morning Starshine
- The Flesh Failures
- Let the Sun Shine In
Currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary! HAIR celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. To an infectiously energetic rock beat, the show wows audiences with songs like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Hair,” “I Got Life,” and “Let The Sun Shine.” Exploring ideas of identity, community, global responsibility and peace, HAIR remains relevant as ever as it examines what it means to be a young person in a changing world.
Music samples provided courtesy of Ghostlight Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Photos by Judith Licht, courtesy of Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington DC
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
- Author Bios
In the age of “Aquarius,” a time of harmony and understanding, a tribe of hippies gathers onstage. George Berger, the tribe’s most expressive member, addresses the audience directly and explains that he seeks his ideal woman (“Donna”). Members of the tribe mock racism (“Colored Spade”) and celebrate diversity (“I’m Black”).
Claude, the moral center of the group, explains his dream of living in “Manchester, England” while others lament – or brag about – their lack of privilege and possessions (“Ain’t Got No”). Sheila Franklin, an NYU student and antiwar protestor, declares “I Believe in Love,” and Jeanie, an idealistic, pregnant environmentalist, satirizes the world’s deteriorating “Air.”
Berger recounts his recent banishment from high school in “Goin’ Down.” Claude reveals that he has been drafted, but he and Berger choose to reject their draft notices, and instead celebrate their “Hair.” (“Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen…”)
Sheila gives Berger a new yellow shirt, but he cruelly spurns her gift. She reminds him that he’s quick to feel empathy for the masses, but he comes up short in personal relationships (“Easy to Be Hard”).
As the flower children are leaving to attend a Be-In, one girl, Crissy, alone in her thoughts, sings of a boy she once met and of her longings to meet him again (“Frank Mills”). At the “Be-In,” the boys all burn their draft cards in an anti-war demonstration. Claude begins to toss his card to the fire, but changes his mind and removes it, wondering how he fits in to this changing world (“Where Do I Go?”).
During a drug-induced hallucination (“Walking in Space”), Claude visualizes George Washington retreating, Indians shooting white men, famous American characters being attacked by African shamans, Abraham Lincoln patronizing American slaves, and stylized mass murders. After the violence, Claude sees his parents and a sergeant beaming with pride over his enrollment in the U. S. Army. They fade from view, replaced by the flower children who turn into horrible monsters and start killing one another; directing their aggressive actions towards Claude (“Three-Five-Zero-Zero”). Two tribe members, observing this scene of destruction, wonder “What a Piece of Work Is Man.”
Claude realizes that once he’s inducted into the Army, he will miss all of life’s simple pleasures (“Good Morning, Starshine” and “The Bed”), and he exits with a feeling of doom “Ain’t Got No (Reprise).”
Claude soon re-enters, stiffly dressed in a military uniform, but his friends are unable to see or hear him as he sings of his regrets (“The Flesh Failures”). Separated from his tribe and presumably killed in the war, Claude lies on his back, motionless. The tribe, seeking hope in the wake of loss, sings “Let the Sun Shine In.”
Book and Lyrics by Music by
Gerome Ragni & James Rado Galt MacDermot
Produced for the Broadway stage by Michael Butler
Originally Produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival Theatre
The foregoing credits shall be displayed immediately below the title in size no less than sixty percent (60%) of the height of the title (or largest billing) and equal in width, style, shape, color, boldness and prominence. No person other than star(s) above the title shall have a larger billing, and no one other than the director shall have equal billing. In the programs the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to http://www.tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.
1 Baritone Saxophone (Flute, Piccolo & Clarinet)
1 Trumpet I
1 Trumpet II
1 Trumpet III (optional)
1 Trombone (optional)
1 Bass (electric)
1 Drums (trap drum set)
Indian Drums (optional)
Quica (Lion’s roar)
Tower Clock Chime (sfx)
2 Guitars I & II
I: acoustic & electric
II: electric & bass
1 Piano (Electric Piano or Synthesizer)
Piano-Conductor’s score sent with rehearsal material.
In place of an Overture the lead guitarist improvises “Outer Space Flying Saucer Pyramid” music, in the style of Jimi Hendrix. During this music, a stage ritual is performed which evolves directly into the opening musical number, “Aquarius.”
(The Piano part includes music for Organ and Sitar)
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book for Director
30 Prompt Books for Cast
30 Chorus-Vocal Parts
(5 female; 7 male)
Other Members of the Tribe
… who play the following characters in the course of the show:
3 Moms, 3 Dads, 3 High School Principals, 2 Policemen,
Electric Blues Quartet (Oldsters),
White Girls Trio,
Black Boys Trio,
“The Supremes” Trio,
Army Sergeant, Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, Calvin Coolidge, Clark Gable,
Scarlett O’Hara, Aretha Franklin, Colonel Custer, Shoeshine Boy,
3 Buddhist Monks, 1 Thousand-Year-Old Monk, 3 Catholic Nuns,
3 Astronauts, 3 Chinese, 3 Guerillas, 1 Native American Indian
The original Broadway production had a cast of 23 performers, including chorus. Doubling was employed as indicated above.
When HAIR moved to the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway after 144 Off-Broadway performances at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, it played for 1,750 performances starring James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Lynn Kellogg, and Sally Eaton. It was revived on Broadway in 1977 at the Biltmore Theatre starring Randall Easterbrook, Michael Holt, Ellen Foley and Iris Rosenkrantz. In 2009, it returned to Broadway and played for 519 performances at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre starring Gavin Creel, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy and Megan Lawrence.
The Drama Desk Award for Music
The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
JAMES RADO (Co-Author, Book & Lyrics) Actor, songwriter, and co-creator of the characters, the story, the dialogue and lyrics of HAIR. His daydream, since a teenager, was to write a Broadway musical. He taught himself how to write lyrics from intense study of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, etc., as well as pop music from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. In college, he wrote the music and lyrics for two shows: Interlude at the University of Maryland and Cross Your Fingers at the Catholic University of America. After a two-year gig in the U.S. Navy, in 1956 he moved to New York to be an actor. Five years later he got his first Broadway break when the famed director and teacher Lee Strasberg plucked him from an acting class for a small part in June Havoc’s Marathon ’33 starring Julie Harris. This led to a string of acting roles in Luther, Generation, The Knack and, in 1964, Hang Down Your Head And Die, where he met fellow actor Gerome Ragni. He told Ragni about his daydream of creating a Broadway musical and proposed that they team up to write a show about the hippies and the anti-war movement that was happening all around them. Ragni came aboard with some of his exciting experimental poetry. In 1966, in the midst of writing HAIR, Rado got a leading role as Richard the Lionhearted in the James Goldman play The Lion in Winter starring Robert Preston, Rosemary Harris and Christopher Walken. By 1967, Rado and Ragni had a script of HAIR, and handed it to the producer Joseph Papp. Papp liked what he read and decided HAIR would be the inaugural production of his newly-founded New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater on New York City’s Lower East Side. The rest is theatrical history. HAIR opened on Broadway in the spring of 1968 and starred Rado and Ragni in the lead roles. Over the intervening years, Rado has been working on two other pieces: American Rainbow and Sun.
Galt MacDermot (Music) Two-time Grammy and Tony-award winning composer Galt MacDermot is best known for the music he wrote for the Broadway scores of HAIR and Two Gentlemen of Verona. He garnered his first Grammy for the song African Waltz in 1960. His work spans the gamut of performing arts: musicals, ballet scores, film scores, chamber music, the Anglican liturgy, orchestral, poetry, drama accompaniments, band repertory and opera. His work encompasses a wealth of musical genres, crossing the boundaries of jazz, folk, funk, gospel, reggae, and classical styles. The son of a Canadian diplomat, Galt was born and raised in Montreal. He received a Bachelor of Music from Cape Town University, South Africa. Based on his traditional training, he writes his own arrangements. He moved to New York in 1964 and three years later, wrote the music for the landmark Broadway production HAIR, which he later adapted for the screen. He formed the New Pulse Band in 1979, which features his original music played by some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Bernard Purdie and Wilbur Bascomb. Galt’s music is consistently sampled by hip hop and rap artists who find his rhythms perfect for setting their lyrics to, as in Run DMC’s Grammy award winning Down With The King, and Billboard’s top chart-buster, Woo-Hahl! Got You All In Check by Busta Rhymes. Galt MacDermot has written more than 3,000 songs over his lifetime. His music is listened to and enjoyed in 122 countries worldwide, and HAIR has been performed constantly since its inception in over 40 countries worldwide.
GEROME RAGNI (Co-Author, Book & Lyrics) From Pittsburgh, PA, Gerome was the youngest of a large family with six sisters and two brothers. After four years as a Medic in the United States Air Force, he began acting and was recognized by winning the Barter Theatre Award as Outstanding Young Actor. He appeared on Broadway in John Gielgud’s Hamlet featuring Richard Burton, and he starred Off-Broadway in The Knack. He was involved with The Open Theater (which he named) studying experimental theater techniques with Nola Chilton and Joseph Chaikin. With James Rado he co-created the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical HAIR, and their lyrics were set to music by Galt MacDermot. A dynamic stage and life presence, he originated the role of Berger in HAIR. On his own, he authored the Broadway musical DUDE, with score by MacDermot. He teamed up with another composer, Steve Margoshes, who wrote the music for the Ragni opus Jack Sound and His Dog Star Blowing His Final Trumpet on the Day of Doom. Soon thereafter, he and Rado re-joined forces to collaborate on a new musical they called SUN. A gifted actor and prolific writer and painter, he originated “paper-napkin art” and he wrote a volume of dynamic poetry under the pen name Virginia Miller. He passed in 1991. His son, Erick Ragni, is an innovative architect.
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. MIAMI, FL 01/01/2017 12/31/2018 Hart House Theatre TORONTO, ON 01/18/2019 02/02/2019 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company SEATTLE, WA 02/01/2019 02/24/2019 Loyola Marymount University LOS ANGELES, CA 02/21/2019 03/02/2019 Sacred Heart University FAIRFIELD, CT 04/04/2019 04/07/2019 Rowan University GLASSBORO, NJ 04/05/2019 04/13/2019 William Peace University RALEIGH, NC 04/11/2019 04/14/2019 Ovations Theatre SILVER SPRING, MD 06/14/2019 06/16/2019 Serenbe Playhouse CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, GA 07/10/2019 08/18/2019